Lillian Hobbs

Lillian Hobbsabortionists, abortionistsfemaleLillianHobbs2.jpgOn the last day of April, 1917, Mrs. Ruth Lemaire, age 24, died at West Side Hospital in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. In her deathbed statement she implicated Dr. Lillian Hobbs. However, the coroner’s jury did not place blame on Hobbs, and the case came to naught.

Hobbs was also convicted of murder in the abortion deaths of Alda Christopherson and Ellen Matson.

Hobbs, wife of attorney Edward M. Seymour, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for Alda Christopherson’s death.

Hobbs had first been convicted in June of 1917 for Alda’s death but was able to get a new trial on appeal. While awaiting a new trial, Ellen Matson had named Hobbs as her abortionist in a deathbed statement. Hobbs was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in Joliet, weeping as she was led from the courtroom. She fought her conviction, though, and appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court.

Hobbs was born in England around 1867. She married Seymour on July 29, 1907 in Laporte, Iowa. She owned a maternity hospital in Chicago but refused to obtain a license to operate it.


  • “Woman Doctor Begins 14 Year Term in Prison,” Chicago Tribune, Nov. 13, 1920
  • “Lawyer’s Wife Accused of Murder by Abortion,” Chicago Tribune, Apr. 14, 1916
  • “Woman Doctor Convicted as Girl’s Slayer,” Chicago Tribune, Dec. 17, 1919
  • “Hospitals Refuse to Obtain License,” Chicago Inter-Ocean, Jul. 14, 1912

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